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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

MARXIST    HISTORY

in regard to war we often seem to argue as though the
side which possesses the greater economic resources is
bound for that reason to have the victory* Hitler was
not wrong when he protested against this view and
asserted that superior intellect might make all the
difference; and his career showed that superior intellect
might indeed make the difference in conceivable cases;
though it showed also that intellect and success have a
way of setting booby-traps of their own for human
beings who are wilful. The higher we go in the order
of things, however, the nearer we come to the realm of
freedom in which an important maxim clearly offers
itself to our judgment. While on the one hand, in
many of our calculations, we make too little allowance
for the effect that conditioning circumstances have on
people and on history—so that here the Marxist can
rightly reproach us—on the other hand it is the neglect
of the spiritual character of personality which makes
human beings also forget their liberty. Marxist history
tends to ignore the very things in which personality
reaches its finest blossom and human nature attains
its highest peaks. Those people who pursue material-
istic ends in politics or in life are the ones whose actions
are most completely under the dominion of necessity*

Having asserted the fundamental and structural
importance of the economic factor in history, the Marxist
historians, when they write their narratives or studies,
too often seem to assume that this is the only thing
which matters, or that all the other things in human
history may thereafter be taken as read. A caricature
of this heresy is provided by a Marxist youth whom

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